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Rep. Garamendi Votes to Pass The Heroes Act to Benefit Local Communities

May 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) voted to pass the Heroes Act, legislation to address the continued public health crisis and provide desperately needed support for struggling families and essential workers. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 208-199. The legislation includes funds for testing and tracing measures, key support for frontline workers, and strengthened assistance for the American people.  Rep. Garamendi also released a new detailed estimate of the direct benefits that the Heroes Act would provide to California and local communities. 

The Heroes Act provides the Californian government and local communities on the frontlines of this crisis with robust, desperately needed funding to cover coronavirus-related outlays and revenue loss and pay our health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs. 

“Our communities, workers and families urgently need more relief to weather the coronavirus crisis,” said Rep. Garamendi. “Many of our frontline heroes are even at risk of losing their jobs as they risk their lives to care for us.  I’m pleased that we came together to pass the Heroes Act to protect families and ensure all our frontline heroes have the support they need to continue to save lives and keep our communities safe and healthy.” 

An analysis prepared by the Congressional Research Service estimates that the Heroes Act will provide $47.4 billion in state funding for the people of California in addition to urgently needed funding for 3rd District communities:

o   Colusa County—$12.1 million over two years

o   Glenn County – $16 million over two years

o   Lake County—$36.2 million over two years

o   Sacramento County—$899.8 million over two years

o   Solano County—$251.7 million over two years

o   Sutter County—$54.5 million over two years

o   Yolo County—$124 million over two years

o   Yuba County—$44.2 million over two years

The Heroes Act also includes a $90 billion fund to support state and local public education. This funding will help maintain or restore state and local fiscal support for elementary, secondary and public higher education and can be used to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, and emergency financial aid for college students as well as coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of disease.

In addition to resources for our state, local, tribal and territorial governments, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the livelihoods of the American people.

  • Provides strong support for our heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers across the country receive hazard pay.  
  • Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing and treatment we need in order to have a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
  • Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Supports small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Ensures further support for Californians and all Americans, including for:
    •    Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for those without insurance.
    •    Workplace security – requiring OSHA to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.
    •    Housing security – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.
    •    Food security – with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.  
  • Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service. 

“We cannot pause while so many families in our communities are struggling,” continued Rep. Garamendi. “We have a responsibility to do what is necessary now to protect the health and well-being of all of our communities.  With the Heroes Act, we honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes and meet the needs of the American people today and through the coronavirus crisis.” 

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